Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cycle 2 Day 1 Complete!

Isabella, our little trooper, is done with Day 1 of Cycle 2 and she did great! She was able to swallow the temodar pills with little problems. Julianne and I both sighed in relief when she took the second pill and and she smiled so proudly afterwards. I am pretty amazed that it only took a couple days for Isabella to get the hang of swallowing pills, but Julianne will describe how she learned so quickly.

Chemo Cycle 2 Begins

They just administered the Vincristine and the Carboplatin will be
dripping for the next 4 hours. After that, she will take the Temodar
pills. Isabella has been able to swallow placebo pills over the last couple
days so hopefully she'll be able to do it now that it counts. It's
really sad that a child so young has to learn how to swallow a pill.

Isabella has had a really good couple of days. She's been in a great
mood and participating in all the activities. She's walking great and
flexing her right hand. Her appettite has been picking up, which is
key since she'll probably lose it again within the next couple days.
Also, one of the possible side effects of the chemo is loss of
hearing, but a test 2 days ago shows Isabella still has perfect

Right now, the whole family is here at the hospital. It really is
heart warming to see all the kids together laughing and playing.
Julianne also took Annalise to get their nails done for a little
bonding time together.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Chemo Cycle 2 Starts This Weekend

Isabella's second cycle of chemo starts this Saturday, January 10. Just as a reminder, the chemo cycle is comprised of three different medications: carboplatin, vincristine, and temodar. Carboplatin is given through the port in Isabella's chest over a period of 4 hours. Vincristine is given through the port in a single push. Temodar is given orally and is the one that Isabella really had problems taking during the first cycle. Since Isabella couldn't swallow the temodar pills, it had to be opened up and given in liquid form. The taste of it made Isabella throw it up. We are currently working with a child psychologist to try and teach Isabella how to swallow pills whole so that she won't have to taste the temodar.

The schedule for this chemo cycle is as follows:

Day 1 (January 10): Carboplatin, Vincristine, Temodar
Day 2: Carboplatin, Temodar
Day 3: Temodar
Day 4: Temodar
Day 5: Temodar
Day 7 (January 16): Vincristine
Day 14 (January 23): Vincristine

On Saturday, January 24, Isabella is scheduled for an MRI so that we can see how the remaining cancer cells are reacting to the chemotherapy. This will be our most anxious time. If it looks like the cancer cells are shrinking, then we will continue with the 3 more cycles of chemotherapy. If it looks like the cancer is continuing to spread, we will immediately move to radiation therapy.

We hope to get back to Rusk on Monday, January 12. Isabella hasn't gotten much therapy at all while in the pediatric unit, so we are anxious to get back to rehab.

Also, as a reminder, St. Thomas Church will be holding a prayer service on Wednesday, January 7 at 6:30 PM. You can refer to the "Prayers for Isabella" post below for more information.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Some Pictures and a Video

Not much new stuff to report today, but we do have a couple pictures and a video.

Here are me, Annalise, and Isabella in our Yankees hats.

Isabella doesn't seem to be bothered at all about her hair falling out.

Finally, here is a video of Isabella playing a lap harp that she received from her grandparents for Christmas.